In Every Field of Endevour

  • September 09, 2009
  • By

A recent newspaper article got me thinking about how much animals do for we humans in every field of endevour.

animals at war memorial.jpg
The article was about a new memorial for all the brave animals who have served with the Australian armed forces in overseas wars, past and present.

The memorial honours guard dogs and cavalry horses of course, but also the other types of animals that have helped man in foreign wars.

How many people would know that an Australian trained carrier pigeon carried a message in the Pacific that lead to American soldiers being rescued from heavy enemy attack? The bird in question won the Dickin Medal (kind of like the "Victoria Cross" for Animals). The citation reads:

Blue chequer cock No. 879:D/D: 43: Q Loft No. 5 of 1 Australian Pigeon Section, attached to the US forces, Manus Island, Admiralty Islands 5th April 1944. Awarded the Dickin Medal for gallantry carrying a message through heavy fire thereby bringing relief to a patrol surrounded and attacked by the enemy without other means of communication.

And of course, lets not forget the mascots that many platoons and companies keep. From bulldogs to cockatoos, from kangaroos to crocodiles, these mascots bring our fighting men and women some entertainment and comfort while far from home.

kangaroo at pyramids.jpg
I love this World War I photo of Aussie troops with a Wallaby mascot in front of the pyramids.

Regardless of what your view is on the rights or wrongs of a particular war (or war in general) there is no denying the bravery of the animals that work along-side our troops.

If you are in the military or know someone who is and have a photo of a military mascot currently serving overseas, I'd love to see it, and if you let me, I'd be happy to post a copy on our blog.

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